Meet TashaWritten by admin on Feb 27, 2017 in - No Comments
TASHA LEHMAN, who coordinates the hospitality ministry at Church at the Well, was born in Wisconsin, loves winter, and oversees the family support group for her husband’s squadron. She and Matt, an engineer for the Air National Guard and Treasurer for The Well, are the parents of Chandler (16), Chase (13), and Charlie (12). When asked to describe in three words what it’s like to raise three boys, Tasha responded with characteristic honesty and wit: “fun, scary, expensive.” I asked her to share a little about what hospitality means to her, and the fascinating story of how she and her family ended up in Vermont.
How did you and Matt end up in Vermont and at Church at the Well?
Adam (Avery) and Matt grew up in Northern New York together, which is where Matt and I met and spent the first few years of our lives together. We moved to Indiana, where I’m from, to raise our family, but several years later, while visiting New York, Adam shared with us his heart to start a church in Vermont. Matt was intrigued, and I was happy for Adam and Michelle, but back to Indiana we went with no discussion. Strangely, I became obsessed with Vermont, and everywhere I turned there was a reminder of Vermont, of the Averys, or of the vision for this new church. I had no desire to move away from my family or our home in Indiana, but for several months, I just could not stop thinking about it!
So how did you go from being intrigued with Vermont to actually moving here?
I knew Matt would jump at the chance to explore this intriguing idea, so, not wanting to get him excited about what was likely just an odd stage I was going through, I turned to a friend for advice. She said, “Maybe Someone is trying to tell you something?!” Naturally, I scolded her for not telling me to get a grip and stop this silly obsessing. We laughed and agreed that I was not to think about Vermont any longer. I hung up the phone and sat down in front of the TV to zone out, and there, on the Kentucky PBS channel, was a special called “Vermont: Exploring the Green Mountain State.” I couldn’t help but laugh. Obviously, Someone WAS trying to tell me something. That night I sat Matt down and said, “I think we are supposed to move to Vermont.”
What is Matt’s side of the story?
From the day we heard Adam’s vision, Matt had also felt compelled to explore moving to Vermont, but he knew that I wasn’t interested in going anywhere. So he prayed, “God, if you want us in Vermont, you will have to be the one to convince Tasha,” and he never mentioned a word of it to me. I guess he didn’t have to! It took us two years to get here, but we knew that it was meant to be and that it would all work out…and it most certainly has!
You coordinate the Hospitality Team for Church at the Well. What does that involve? What do you enjoy most about this, and what do you find challenging?
Hospitality brews inside of me. It brings me joy to gather people, feed them, and make them feel loved. Coordinating the Hospitality Team at The Well involves planning our monthly Coffee Sunday gatherings, coordinating our twice annual church-wide potlucks, and setting up meal trains for those who need it within the church. Managing the logistics of large groups of people and food can be challenging, but it’s a challenge I happily accept and enjoy very much.
In addition to coordinating the Hospitality Team, you and your family have opened up your home for small groups, the annual volunteer party, and other gatherings. Why is hospitality important to you?
We always say that the more dirt on the floor after everyone has left, the better the party it must have been! There is nothing more fulfilling to me than when people leave my home with a full belly and an uplifted spirit. We have been blessed abundantly so we want to bless others in return out of gratitude.
In your opinion, what does genuine hospitality mean?
I love for things to be pretty, and nothing makes me smile more than a perfectly decorated party, but I have learned that true hospitality is less about the perfect setting and more about the heart. When I serve others through a true desire to show love, I know that paper plates can be just as beautiful as fine china. When food is served with an Agape love – a love expecting nothing in return – it can truly feed the body and the soul. What amazes me about being hospitable is, I think it ends up blessing me more than our guests!
I hear that you are expecting in May, but that this pregnancy isn’t just any pregnancy…it’s a surrogate pregnancy. What does this mean, and what inspired you to embark on this journey?
Someone told me that I took hospitality to a whole new level when I offered to “host” a baby inside of me for 9 months. That made me laugh, but the truth is, they were right! My desire to become a surrogate began after my miscarriage many years ago. I began to feel empathy for women suffering infertility. When I heard about surrogacy, I knew that it was a way I could support another woman on a difficult journey. The little one inside me is growing beautifully, and I am honored to give her a safe and warm place to stay until she can join her family this spring.
How has this experience challenged you or deepened your faith?
This experience has been a real lesson in managing expectations, and I have learned a lot about humility as I give myself physically to this baby and submit myself to her parents’ wishes. I have learned that even in the midst of a really beautiful journey, circumstances can still be challenging. I have been forced to dig in deep to what Adam often preaches, “Your circumstances do not determine your joy.” In the midst of morning sickness and swollen ankles, joy has been easily buried, but I continue to humble myself to the process of growing this baby and remember that God can take any difficulty and turn it into something beautiful.